Chemotherapy. Our best friend and our worst enemy. It will save our baby's life, and it will put her through hell. In clinic you see all kinds of patients. This week we saw a teenage girl in a wheelchair and she had the saddest look on her face. Our eyes met and she managed a weak smile, but my heart broke for her and what she is going through. Chemotherapy is awful on a grown man, and here is our two-year-old going through it. Cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't say, "Oh, I'll leave this little girl alone, she's too young to go through this." Or "This man has lived a good life, I'll pass him by." It doesn't care. Whoever it can get to, it gets to. And after so many, many years of trying to figure it out, we have come up with chemotherapy. Such a blessing to have a way to fight this disease, but so much pain and hurting to go through. I was reading an article that said that in 1962 the cure rate for leukemia was 4%. Four percent!! I imagined being in the hospital and them telling me my daughter has leukemia, but I changed one line in their diagnosis. Instead of hearing there is a 90% chance she will live, I heard she will have a 4% chance to live. I can't even imagine what that one little difference would make in this fight. That was only 40 years ago. We have come so very far from then and I am thankful to be in this situation now, with all the medical advances we have made with this disease. Because people cared. People donate money to research, people spend the time it takes to research, people participate in experimental studies, people dedicate their whole lives to this fight. And they have come so far because of it. And here we have chemotherapy. How I love it because it will safe MY daughter's life. It is so personal to me now. It directly affects me and my family and my sweet Brinley. And how I hate it because of what it is doing to her. Every day, 99% of my thoughts are about cancer and this treatment. All the medicine, all the side effects, all the sickness, all because they have found a treatment that can destroy this awful disease. And that is the price to pay for your life. And when I think of it that way, it is a small price to pay. But when I look at Brinley every day, and see how sad she always is and how weak she is and how different she is, I hate it. There are those extreme feelings again, gratitude mixed with anger mixed with love mixed with fear. This is like nothing I have ever experienced. I have learned so much personally and have seen so much that I would NEVER change our situation, yet we have to struggle to have those experiences that I am so thankful for. I don't even know if this is making any sense, but it makes perfect sense to me.

7 comments:

Stacy said...

I understood you perfectly. I empathize with you and David as parents and I feel for Brinley. You are loved and prayed for several times a day in our house.

Family in Maryland said...

Well said Kristen (as well as your previous blogs)!! Growing Pains! Know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers daily! Love, Rob, Lori, Heather, Stephanie, Cory, and Kallie

Ali said...

I loved what you said about how far it has come in 40 years. And you are so right about the donations. For any of you who would like to help, Team in Training is a fantastic organization that raises money for research and support of Leukemia patients (and those with other blood related diseases). I ran a marathon with them a couple of years ago and raised over $6,000 for the Leukemia Society. People are willing to give when you ask! They've been trying to get me to run another one lately...maybe your post was the inspiration I needed to run & raise for San Diego in the spring!

Dad said...

I can only sit here it total love and admiration for you, Kristin. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your thoughts and activities in so much detail. It brings us all so much closer together on this bitter/sweet journey. By the way, you are a really good writer! It's so easy to read. It's like we're inside your head.

Peggy said...

Kristin - You certainly have a way with words. You take what you're feeling and are able to put that in writing. That is truly a gift. I have commented to several people that I enjoy reading what you post, and that if they want the technical/medical terminology or to get a better idea of how it affects Brinley, they have to read what you post. This blog is truly a gift to the rest of us and I thank you for it.

I know prayers are being answered, and we won't stop praying. Our Heavenly Father is holding your entire family in the Palms of His Hands.

Love and Prayers,
Harry & Peggy Purvis & the clan in Northeastern Montana :)

Huenu said...

Kristin, you are an AWESOME writer, I had no idea. We've all in our families said Brinley must be a very special spirit to go thru this and survive, she will be strong and special because of it. But as I read your post today I thought of the growth you and my "little" brother are experiencing and I can't help see how the Lord is stretching you, with love, but making you grow. I have always admired you, but am in more awe than ever at your strength and wisdom. Thanks for sharing with us daily. We like to know your thoughts. Love,H.

Huenu said...

PS: meant to tell you that I felt so nice and rested and renewed from my trip that I might have to do make it up there every weekend! LOL. It was no work at all, I enjoyed it and loved spending time with you guys.